While visiting Red Deer on Thursday, Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister addressed the pressing issue of hospital expansion.
Shaye Anderson said there are a lot of priorities, some needs and some wants, that the provincial government must find a balance with.
“We all want that hospital -- everybody does. All of us in cabinet and in caucus, we know it’s something that’s needed,” he said. “It’s not a case of something we don’t need to do, it’s a case of how much can we do at once.”
Anderson acknowledged that the Red Deer region’s growth is undeniable.
“To be honest, I think folks in the region need to realize we’ve put hundreds of millions of dollars into this region, so it’s certainly not something you hear a perception of neglect or those types of things,” he said. “We know we have to make sure people are taken care of, and the MLAs push hard on that. They do every day, especially to the ministers.”
Red Deer – North MLA Kim Schreiner reiterated that Red Deer Regional Hospital expansion is the number one priority for her and Red Deer – South MLA Barb Miller.
“We’re keeping it on the front burner. It’s something we’ve been in discussion with cabinet on, and we know what the needs are here in Red Deer. Just last year we opened to obstetric surgery beds at Red Deer Hospital to try to alleviate some of that,” she pointed out. “This is something that is definitely important to central Albertans and that message is definitely going to cabinet and our premier.”
Mayor Tara Veer met with Anderson on Thursday and noted while the hospital wasn't a specific agenda topic for the meeting, it did come up. She added the issue has been elevated with the ministers of Health and Infrastructure.
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